Evaluation of Protective Coatings

Project ID: 1597
Principal Investigator: Allen Skaja
Research Topic: Repair and Maintenance
Funded Fiscal Years: 2011
Keywords: None

Research Question

Is Reclamation using the best coatings for corrosion protection?

Need and Benefit

Using the highest performance coating systems will reduce the maintenance and downtime of the structure, thus increasing water availability and reducing maintenance costs. Most coatings jobs in Reclamation cost between $1 million and $20 million. Typically, we are seeing about 30-40 jobs per year. All of the projects need direction as to what coatings to use for corrosion protection. There are still a lot of materials that need to be evaluated to find the best products.

It is vital to continue coatings evaluations and find solutions to difficult corrosion and coatings problems. Reclamation has a lot of future maintenance, and it is important to find and use products that will obtain the longest service life to reduce the cost of maintenance while meeting all volatile organic compound/chemical (VOC) limits and health and safety issues. For example, Flatiron penstocks are being recoated and relined during fiscal years 2010-2012; the cost to recoat and reline is about $20 million. We were able to convince the project managers to change to a more durable coating because we had data to back up the product. If the wrong products were selected, it could be the difference between a 15-year service life and a 30-year service life. The cost of a job is not in the coating material but in the mobility, containment, blasting, and labor costs. Usually, the coating material is less than 15% of any job, but selection of the wrong material will result in shorter service lives.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Bureau of Reclamation Review

The following documents were reviewed by experts in fields relating to this project's study and findings. The results were determined to be achieved using valid means.

Protecting Infrastructure by Predicting Coating Service Life Span (final, PDF, 174KB)
By Allen Skaja
Publication completed on September 30, 2011

This bulletin summarizes the research results and potential application to Reclamation's mission.

Evaluation of Protective Coatings (final, PDF, 31KB)
By Allen Skaja
Report completed on May 02, 2014

Evaluation of Protective Coatings Final Report
This research was only funded at a scoping level to try develop partners. The Navy has different service conditions and was not willing to collaborate. Attempts were made to contact the Army Corps of Engineers, but were unsuccessful.
Allen Skaja

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Last Updated: 6/22/20